ICLEI USA Names Hilari B. Varnadore as New Director of STAR Community Index – Groundbreaking Initiative to Improve and Empower Sustainability Among Local Governments

Former Sustainability Director for Frederick County, Maryland to Play a Leading Role in Guiding the Future Success and Long-Term Viability of New National Framework for Sustainability.

Washington, DC, May 04, 2011 --(PR.com)-- ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the leading local government organization addressing climate action and sustainability in the nation, is proud to name Hilari Varnadore as new director of the STAR Community Index. A program of ICLEI USA initiated in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC), the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the National League of Cities (NLC), STAR Community Index ™ (STAR) is a ground-breaking rating system and performance management tool that will offer local governments a unique roadmap for improving community sustainability.

“On behalf of ICLEI USA and our partners, we are thrilled to welcome Hilari Varnadore into the STAR Community family and count on her experience and energy to lead the future course and success of this important project,” said Martin J. Chávez, ICLEI USA Executive Director and former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, NM. “Throughout her career, Hilari has proven to be a dedicated and committed sustainability professional and an effective strategist on a local and national level; we are very pleased to have her.”

Previously, Ms. Varnadore served as Sustainability Director for Frederick County, Maryland, one of the state’s largest counties in size and population. Working under the leadership of Mosi Kitwana, ICLEI USA Deputy Executive Director of Programs and Innovation, Hilari will be tasked with taking the STAR Community Index through its final stages of development; securing its forthcoming national launch; and ensuring its long-term viability and implementation in the local government market, among other responsibilities.

“I am delighted to join ICLEI USA and have the unique opportunity to guide the STAR Community Index to a new exciting stage of development and new levels of success,” said Hilari Varnadore, new Director of ICLEI USA’s STAR Community Index . “My deep commitment to STAR as a volunteer and local government sustainability professional have prepared me to take the helm of this critical project to innovate and improve sustainability efforts in communities across the country.”

As a recognized expert on sustainability, Ms. Varnadore has worked closely with local, regional, state, and federal officials as well as partners in the private sector, nonprofit and foundation communities, and academia. She has been a long-standing and committed volunteer with the STAR Community Index, serving as an active member of the Planning & Design Technical Advisory Committee since the project’s inception. In the past year, her work has been featured at conferences led by ICLEI USA, the National Association of Counties (NACO), U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Maryland, and local government exchanges and events throughout the country.

As the new STAR Community Index director, Ms. Varnadore will be based in Washington D.C. She will travel frequently to meet with their STAR Community Index partners; with the recently-announced 10 STAR Beta Community members; and with their STAR Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Committee members throughout the nation.

About the STAR Community Index
STAR will change the way local governments and communities approach sustainability goals – and how they manage and measure their long-term progress. This performance-based sustainability management system breaks ground by uniquely combining the following elements: a framework for sustainability -- based on the pillars of environment, economy, and social equity; an online data-management platform that gathers, organizes, analyzes, and presents information required to meet community and government sustainability goals through effective management; and a management model and rating system that drive continuous improvement in community health, vitality and prosperity for all residents. More information can be found at: http://www.icleiusa.org/star

ICLEI USA is a non-profit membership association of local governments working to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and tangible improvements in local sustainability. ICLEI USA supports its more than 600 member local governments by providing networking opportunities, tools, resources, and programmatic support focused on climate protection and sustainable development. More information can be found at www.icleiusa.org

Guillermo Meneses
(202) 629-3591